Community Speedwatch

              Is your village interested in taking part in Community Speedwatch ?                If so, please contact Sgt Jon Hodgson on jon.hodgson@northants.pnn.police.uk  or email elaine.oleary@northantsacre.org.uk, tel. 01604 765888

community speedwatch signCommunity Speedwatch re-started last year after a 2 year gap. The latest Community Speedwatch initiative is an operation to target those motorists committing the four most common offences, which can contribute to serious injury or deaths on our roads: speeding, mobile phone usage, not wearing a seatbelt and drink driving. Initially there was going to be a charge for the service but this has since been dropped and it is now completely free to take part in Speedwatch.

During 2013, 23 villages were involved in the programme with 300 volunteers receiving Speedwatch training, including how to use the calibrated speed gun. Each village had access to the calibrated speed gun for at least 3 weeks over a 6 week period as part of a wide package of services available throughout the year.

Speedwatch is as much about educating and encouraging drivers to drive sensibly as aplease slow downbout catching people who are speeding.  Since the start of the programme in April 2013, 4,100 warning letters have been sent out to drivers caught speeding by the volunteers and for many that is all that is needed to make them modify their speed through the villages. But some drivers need more than one warning to change their behaviour and may have to receive a second, more strongly worded letter. This is where your village can work with your Safer Community team to alert them to any repeat offender. Then the next time they are caught speeding through your village, it won’t necessarily be a warning letter they get! Your parish council should know who your Safer Community team is.

During 2013, 115 vehicles were identified where there were potential issues such as no MOT, missing insurance and so on. If needed, the Police can then take further action against the drivers of these vehicles. Because of the time of year and the conditions, use of the speed gun has now ceased until Spring 2014 but villages continue to receive other services such as Parish Speed Boards or Vehicle Activated Signs (see below).

To take part in Speedwatch

To take part in Community Speedwatch, you will need signatures from either 20% of your electoral roll or 500 people and a minimum of 10 volunteers willing to be trained to use the speed device. The programme for next year will re-start in April 2014, so if your village is interested in being part of Speedwatch and you have not yet registered that interest, you can still do so by contacting Sgt Jon Hodgson, Safer Roads Team Sergeant on jon.hodgson@northants.pnn.police.uk or contact Elaine O’Leary on 01604 765888, email Elaine.oleary@northantsacre.org.uk.

Community Speedwatch services

Community Speed Watch enables local people to become actively involved in helping to slow down traffic in 30mph zones within their community. Members of the community are trained in the use of hand-held speed monitoring devices to track the speed of motorists in their parish. Details of any speeding car is recorded on a data sheet. These sheets are processed by the Safer Roads Team and warning letters are sent to the drivers. Speeding drivers can receive up to two warning letters but if they are recorded as speeding for a third time, they will not receive a third one. The Police take further action.

Each community involved in Speedwatch will receive a full package of services, as shown below as part of a rolling programme during the year, as well as regular support from their local Safer Community Team:

  1. Full training to carry out Speedwatch in your village including how to use the calibrated device and recording the required information for the data sheets.SID
  2. S.I.D (Speed Indication Device) – this device is operated by the County Council. This is an interactive radar device placed at the roadside, highlighting speeding/mobile phone use/seat belt offences. It can indicate current speed only, can show a smiley face for motorists travelling under the speed limit, or a sad face if they are over the speed limit. It is an effective means of reminding people to slow down. It is not a camera and doesn’t collect registration numbers.
  3. V.A.S. (Vehicle Activated Sign) – an interactive device placed out by the Police (owned by the County Council) to identify excess speed offences. This is used for warning purposes only.
  4. Parish Speed Boards x 10 – these are issued to each village co-ordinator, who is given suggested dates to place on display at the roadside by the Police. To purchase a Speed Board costs approximately £25.
  5. Data Site monitoring – this device is placed out for a week before and a week after each village has actually used the speed measuring device. It gives extremely accurate figures on volume of traffic/speeds/direction of travel/types of vehicle/etc and provides valuable evidence for a community regarding traffic and speeding in their area. It is not a camera and does not collect registration numbers. To hire one privately would cost between £300 – £400.
  6. Use of Precision equipment (speed gun) – this is the same equipment as used by the Police and is calibrated to the highest level. This calibration device is used to identify vehicles exceeding the speed limit as part of a programmed 3 week period over the year. Those drivers identified as speeding have a Police warning letter(s) generated. Over 500 were sent out in 2 months as part of the 2012 CSW pilot.
  7. Processing of data sheets from the communities and the issuing of warning letters to any driver identified as speeding as part of the Speedwatch programme, administration of all letters and follow up where necessary and regular updates to communities on the number of warning letters issued.
  8. Ongoing support from local Safer Community Teams.
  9. Additional support from ‘Safer Roads Team’ Speed Camera Vans, particularly working with information collated from the calibration device.

Is your village interested in taking part in Community Speedwatch in 2013?   If so, please contact Sgt Jon Hodgson, Safer Roads Team Sergeant on jon.hodgson@northants.pnn.police.uk or contact Elaine O’Leary on 01604 765888, email elaine.oleary@northantsacre.org.uk.

Community Speedwatch pilot 2012

The previous Community Speedwatch programme ceased on 1st April 2011 as the Specific Grant funding had come to an end. By the end of the scheme, over 60 villages were involved, with a volunteer force of approximately 700 people and an average of 6000 warning letters per year issued to speeding motorists.

In order to identify whether there was still a requirement for Community Speedwatch, a pilot was run during September and October 2012 in 9 communities where speeding had been identified as a major concern for local people. The villages that took part in the pilot were; Rothersthorpe, Kislingbury, Bugbrooke, Croughton, Kings Sutton, Wilbarston,  Dingley, Pytchley and Isham. 57 people were trained in the use of the calibrated speed monitoring device, which records the required data on speeding cars, relevant safety details and insurance information. As a result of the data collected, 512 warning letters were sent out over the course of the 2 month pilot.

At the end of each village’s CSW involvement, participants were asked to complete a short survey.  A report was compiled from the results by Northamptonshire ACRE. The full report can be accessed here or you can download just the Executive Summary

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